December 15, 2017

CA Department of Industrial Relations Reports 2015 Fatal Occupational Injuries

Oakland, CA – The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) reports that 388 Californians died on the job in 2015. California experienced 13 multi-fatality incidents in 2015, accounting for a total of 48 workplace deaths. These events include the tragic shootings of public employees attending a holiday event in San Bernardino, four separate farm vehicle collisions, four different helicopter or small airplane crashes (including two separate military helicopter incidents), and 3 multi-victim workplace homicides. This contrasts with six separate multi-fatality incidents that occurred in 2014 resulting in 17 fatalities.

“Our thoughts are with the families and coworkers of those that died,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). “In January, Cal/OSHA will convene an advisory committee to address workplace violence.”

A review of the past ten years indicates that workplace fatalities remain below the average rate of fatalities prior to 2008, when the last recession began.

There were 388 fatal injuries on the job in California in 2015, compared to 344 in 2014, 396 in 2013 and 375 in 2012. Data comes from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) which is conducted annually in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Figures for 2015 are the latest numbers available.

Key findings from the latest census in California include:

  • One in five (20%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 were attributed to be due to violence and other injuries by persons or animals. The incidence of workplace homicides in 2015 accounts for 12% of all workplace deaths in the state.
  • Over one third (38%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 occurred in transportation incidents.
  • One in five (19%) of all California workplace deaths identified in 2015 were attributed to trips, slips and falls; with more than two thirds of those deaths involving falls to a lower level.
  • Nearly half of the victims of workplace fatalities (46%) in 2015 were Latinos. This fatality rate has fluctuated over the past ten years between 37% and 49%.

The percentage of Latino deaths in the workplace continues to be an area the department is tracking closely. DIR over the past seven years has increased workplace safety outreach and education to Spanish-speaking workers, with a focus on high-hazard work.

Tables reflecting final data for 2015 (and prior years’ final data) for California are posted online.

The Census is conducted annually by DIR in conjunction with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. CFOI produces comprehensive, accurate and timely counts of fatal work injuries. This Federal-State cooperative program was implemented in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in 1992.

Source: CA DIR

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